Aisha Adams has made it her life's work to fight for underrepresented communities, while promoting diversity and inclusivity.
Now she's being recognized for it.
Adams was one of the driving forces behind the Lenoir-Rhyne Equity and Diversity Institute (LREDI) to train equity advocates, and she has been recognized as the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.
In December, she was also recognized as the Jane Renfroe Coach of the Year by MountainBizworks, an Asheville-based nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs through coaching and financial services.
"It feels really good to be recognized by my peers and colleagues. However, I am most excited about the impact graduates of the Lenoir-Rhyne Equity and Diversity Institute are having as they tirelessly work to push for policy, practice and procedural changes," Adams said. "These equity advocates are shifting our region to be more equitable, diverse and inclusive place to work and live."
Adams is currently the program developer of LREDI. A certificate program, LREDI offers classes in equity and diversity for executives, nonprofit leaders, educators, students, social activists and more to cultivate diversity and equity in the community.
Participants in the program work with industry professionals on conversations regarding culture, equity and inclusion, while learning how to lead social change efforts.
"Over the past year, I have been thrilled to get to know her, learn about her talents and watch her make a big impact on our community, so much so that I attended the leadership section of the Lenoir-Rhyne Equity Diversity Institute," said Laura Webb, president of Webb Investment Services, the company that sponsored the award. "Nothing made me happier than to be able to present the Woman Entrepreneur Award to her."
Adams also is executive producer of a daily talk show, The Asheville View, writes a blog and organizes a bootcamp for fledgling businesses.
Prior to joining Lenoir-Rhyne, the Alabama native served in education and nonprofit roles.